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Operation Enduring Freedom in danger?

Date Written    :  Jan 11, 2002 

ISI plot of giving a corridor for re-shifting of Al-Qaida terrorists into Afghanistan and the escape of OBL to Saudi Arabia.

Pakistani excuse of possible Indo-Pak War to hamper Operation Enduring Freedom.

Taking advantage of the situation on the eastern borders and the growing tensions with India, Pakistan has started reclaiming the airports which were given to the US for its "Operation Enduring Freedom". Much to the disquiet of the US, Pakistani forces have moved its military resources to at least one of the airbases given to the US military for launching attacks on Afghanistan. 

One of the airbases which was reportedly reclaimed by Pakistan is Jacobabad. This airbase in southwest Pakistan was to serve as a "key US facility" in the region, signaling a long-term presence of American troops in Pakistan.  US had used the base as a  platform for anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan and was also going to use it as a platform from which to assist the reconstruction of Afghanistan.  Almost all of the Pakistani Military was withdrawn from the base before handing over the to US. 

Jacobabad airbase was relatively close to Afghanistan, but also far from Pakistan's nuclear weapons facilities in the far southwest. This airbase was supposed to be at the heart of the US military operations throughout the reconstruction work in Afghanistan.  US forces were also maintaining  their presence at airfields in Pasni and Dalbandin. The situation now seems to be getting reversed.

ISI plot of giving a corridor for re-shifting of Al-Qaida terrorists into Afghanistan.

The way and the speed with which Pakistani Air force was ordered to move straight into the airbase raises the doubts that the detailed discussions were not held with the US officials. Pakistan has moved mirage fighters and other military resources on the airport. This will seriously hamper US combat (support) operations from the airstrips.

More worrisome for the US is what happens if the Pakistani troops on Afghan borders get shifted to the eastern borders of Pakistan.  Pakistan has a good reason to shift its military units to the eastern borders for tackling the possible escalation with India after the tensions of the Dec 13 terrorist attack on Indian Parliament.

Taking advantage of the yanking of its troops to eastern borders,  the most important thing which must be planned by the ISI is that -- Taliban fighters,  who are now hiding in Pakistan or Pakistan occupied Kashmir,  be yet again pushed into the Afghan territory.  Also the Al-Qaida terrorists who are staying in various refugee camps spread across the borders with Afghanistan, will keep on getting a chance of crossing borders as and when needed, to strike back when things cool down. This way it will also be safe for Pakistan to say that no terrorist operate from its country.

Osama bin Laden (OBL) may be flown to Mecca-Medina in Saudi Arabia, taking advantage of the large number of Hajis traveling out from Pakistan for the Haj pilgrimage which will start in a few days from now.  

US did bomb Afghanistan when OBL was suspected to be in Afghanistan, but did not bomb Pakistan although OBL has now shifted to Pakistan or Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). more

If OBL goes to Mecca-Medina, US can not pursue him there on land, since non-muslims are barred from entry into these cities. So the only option will be to bomb these cities. Will US do this as part of Operation Enduring Freedom?

The world is waiting for the speech to be delivered by Musharraf.  The reclaiming of the airbases has just come before the speech.  Musharraf may clamp down on terrorists in his own country, but will keep on giving a moral support to the terrorists in Kashmir because without the "Kashmir issue"  he can not keep his country united against India.


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